Mario Villalobos


I’m about a third of the way toward completing my goal of 365 straight entries. That’s kind of crazy, right? Time flies, I guess. I’m in a retrospective mood, so lets see what’s happened: I’m in the best shape of my life, I’ve been sober for 121 days now, I found a great job that I love and that pays well, I’m on Chapter 8 of my novel, I drove to San Diego to spend the New Years with my family and I returned with all of my books, DVDs, and other stuff, as well as furniture that has transformed my home into a place I love, and I’ve been writing about it all publicly, honestly, and without regrets. And that was all in just a few months. It’s a new year now. There are 12 months ahead of us that are ripe for the picking. Seize the day and all that.

I needed to write all that down because sometimes I forget that I should be happy at what I’ve done since I’m so concerned about the stuff I haven’t done. One thing I didn’t consider when bringing back all my books and displaying them so clearly on a bookshelf was all the books I’ve left unread. There are so many books I still need to read on subjects I still care about but aren’t a priority anymore. I have so many books on film and screenwriting that I so wanted to read when I bought them, but for one reason or another, I didn’t. I’m no longer as passionate about cinema as I once was, even though that’s what I went to school for. That’s what my degree is for, and that’s what I’m still paying for every month in the form of my student loans. It’s sad, actually, but it also means I’ve changed and grown. I still love film, and what I loved about it was telling stories. That has not changed. I love telling stories, and that’s what I’m doing every morning at 5 AM. I wouldn’t wake up hours before I need to if I didn’t love telling stories. I plan to start reading many of these unread books this year, and maybe these books will rekindle my passion for film again. I don’t know. I’m unopposed to that notion.

One of my goals I made last year that wasn’t a New Years resolution was that I wanted to be published. I started off the year writing a short story that I sent out to a small literary journal, and even thought the story was quite good, the editors at this journal didn’t. They rejected me. I didn’t feel bad that I was rejected, but I also didn’t feel impassioned enough to write another short story. This was back in March of last year, and for the rest of the year, I stopped pursuing that goal of getting published. I won’t be making the same goal this year. Instead, I’m going to do what I have been doing, and that’s writing 300 words a day. For most of the year, that’ll be toward my novel. But I plan to finish this rewrite this year, and maybe afterwards I’ll spend some time writing another short story and sending that out to another journal. Then I’ll get back to my novel and maybe rewrite it well enough to be satisfied enough to send it out to publishers. Who knows? Maybe it’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. The goal is to have no goals.

I love habits and routines. If I keep doing the best things for myself every day on a consistent basis, then I know I can accomplish a lot. Just look at what I did in the past 120 days. Gotta admit, that’s pretty impressive.